Always fancied the idea of sailing? The wind in your hair, the salty breeze on your skin, the sound of the waves lapping against the bow.
But you’ve never raised a sail or thrown out an anchor in your life?
Enter Endeavor Foundation’s latest Ultimate Life Changer Lottery and your life really could change in an instant.
Landlubber one day. Captain of your own luxury yacht the next, ready for adventure wherever the wind will take you.
If it’s your ticket that’s drawn as the winner, you’ll be sailing into the sunset on the Beneteau Oceanis 31.
Valued at a cool $252,000, the Oceanis is 31 feet of sheer sailing luxury. Awarded with the prestigious ‘Yacht of the Year’ title in the Family Cruiser Category the year it was launched, the Oceanis is the ultimate choice for family sailing adventures. But more about her later.
The winner of this life-changing sailing prize will also receive one year’s membership of the prestigious Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron (RQYS) based in Brisbane’s bayside suburb of Manly, in Queensland. You’ll also receive 12 months of marina berthing at RQYS plus a year’s Queensland Transport registration for the Oceanis.
But you can’t even sail?
To complete your Popeye transformation, the prize also includes a learn-to-sail package with RQYS which includes 60 hours of sailing lessons on one of their own fleet of yachts. In these lessons, you will learn the ropes from experienced sailing instructors.
Once you’ve mastered the essential skills, you’ll be awarded with the Start Skippering Certification.
And that’s when the real fun will begin. As a certified skipper, you’ll be ready to get behind the helm of the Oceanis and be master (or mistress) of your own destiny.
At almost 10 metres, the Oceanis 31 is large enough for the open water but small enough to feel manageable. Perfect for a couple or family, this beautifully-appointed yacht boasts two sleeping cabins, a generous lounge (or saloon if we’re using the right seafaring terminology), a beautifully functional galley and enough room to stretch out, relax and enjoy the journey.
Below deck, at the front of Oceanis is the forward cabin – essentially an angular shaped space in the bow designed for sleeping. If you’re the winner of this stunning yacht, you’ll have the choice of a separated or open forward cabin. The open cabin is, as it suggests, completely open to the lounge area, offering a sense of space and is ideal for couples. Alternatively, opting for the separated cabin offers privacy for families or those keen to sail with other couples.
Next is the saloon (yes, that’s the lounge area for those playing along). Aboard the Oceanis, the luxuriously appointed saloon is lined with polished mahogany timber creating a rich, timeless look. The space is surprisingly generous boasting a headroom of 1.77 metres. Which means, if you’re of average height or below, you won’t even have to duck. Finally, a win for the vertically-challenged.
The Oceanis has been designed with a ‘raised saloon’ which essentially means it sits above the deck level of the boat. What’s so great about that? Quite simply, it’s the view. Or more specifically, being able to see out to the view through the portholes while lounging inside, rather than sitting down in the hull of the boat, staring at, well, nothing.
A folding table turns the saloon into a dining room in an instant.
The adjoining galley is spacious, boasting two stainless steel sinks, a two-burner gas hob and a 100-litre icebox.
At the rear of Oceanis, the architects have worked wonders with the available space to include a bathroom with a toilet and a genuinely roomy shower. On the port side, you’ll also find another generous sleeping compartment known as the ‘aft cabin’ (aft meaning ‘toward the rear or stern’ of the vessel).
The streamlined curves of Oceanis’ interior hide a multitude of storage nooks and cupboards including a small hanging locker in each cabin. Every inch has been carefully considered to ensure that Oceania is a joy to live on as well as to sail.
Setting sail from your marina berth at Manly, you have the whole of Moreton Bay Marine Park to explore. Stretching 60 miles from Moreton Island in the north to the Gold Coast Broadwater in the south, the bay is a sailing paradise dotted with islands waiting to explore.
Sail north and it doesn’t get much better than the spectacular turquoise anchorages along the eastern side of Moreton Island. Snorkelling at the famous Tangalooma wrecks is worth the trip alone.
Within a short sail of Manly you can also reach North Stradbroke Island, the second largest sand island in the world, along with a myriad of smaller islands including heritage-listed Peel Island, a favourite among local boaties.
When the wind is right, the protected waters of the bay will also lead you south, all the way to the marinas and anchorages of the Gold Coast.
With so many spectacular destinations within easy reach, Manly makes the perfect base for your new life sailing aboard the Oceanis.
First things first, make sure you buy your ticket for your chance to win this Ultimate Life Changer prize.
Once you’ve got your tickets sorted, we can help you with a bit of pre-sailing prep.
Sailing is one of those hobbies/sports that seems to have a whole other language attached to it.
Don’t let that put you off though. The sailing instructors at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron can quickly help you master the basic lingo.
To help you get a head start, or for pure interest’s sake, we’ve put together just a few common sailing terms:
A Header is a wind direction change or shift that brings the wind in a more head-on direction, or, in sailing terms, closer to the bow.